Month: February 2018

Balsamic Roasted Turnips

Posted February 15, 2018 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 0 Comments

 

 

The lowly, modest turnip. I’ll admit I rarely (if ever) give it a second glance in the produce section. I’m guilty of passing it up hundreds of times in favor of more attractive veggies like a bunch of fresh carrots or a head of bright green broccoli.

Yet when I saw that turnips are one of the few prominent side dishes in Wuthering Heights, I knew I needed to find a way to make them enjoyable. For me, this means ROASTING. I am a firm believer that if you’re having trouble getting yourself to eat your vegetables, a little olive oil and salt with some time in the oven goes a long way.

This recipe I found from Kalyn’s Kitchen takes it a step further and adds some balsamic vinegar for extra oomph. She suggests tossing the roasted turnips in a light coating of balsamic at the very end as well, and I highly recommend it. Turnips are mild little guys, so I think they benefit from just a bit of zing from the extra balsamic.

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A Wuthering Heights Reading Kit

Posted February 13, 2018 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Reading Kits / 0 Comments

 

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For the past week we’ve been trapped inside due to family-wide illness and a foot of snow, so putting together this Wuthering Heights reading kit was a nice break from all the tedium. I had a blast reading through Kate Beaton’s six part Wuthering Heights comic series to find just the right print to include in my kit. I also wanted to include at least one of the many wonderful quotes in Bronte’s book, so I made sure a quote is featured in one of the items below. I tried to avoid candles, scarves, and t-shirts this time since I tend to use those a lot in my kits (gotta widen those horizons!). In the end, I like to think I curated a thoughtful list of fun, unique items perfect for keeping close at hand while you read Emily Bronte’s famous novel. Let’s take a look! 🙂

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Wuthering Heights Roast Goose with Potatoes

Posted February 8, 2018 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 1 Comment

 

Goose: it’s a dish I’ve put off cooking for years because of the horror stories I’ve heard about how hard it is to make. It’s thrilling to finally step up and tackle something you’ve always found intimidating, and even more so when your first attempt goes really well.

When I decided to make roast goose as my Wuthering Heights entree, I began the hunt for a recipe that was both manageable and reliably successful. This was surprisingly difficult. I saw recipes that insisted you must sear and flip the goose in a roasting pan to get a brown color without overcooking, others that called for multiple extra recipes like glaze and stuffing, and still more that claimed it was impossible to evenly cook a whole goose (and that the only solution was to carve it before cooking). I felt discouraged and more than a little fearful. Goose can cost upwards of $60, and I did NOT want to screw this up.

Then I found this wonderful recipe from The Woks of Life. It had more steps than some of the recipes I’d seen, but it was easier to follow and didn’t require anything weird like searing the bird in a separate pan. It was an orange five-spice goose recipe, which sounded delicious. The seasoning also caused it to roast darker than the average goose, helping to avoid the issue of a finished birth that’s too light on top. The only downside was that the flavor profile was a little inaccurate for Victorian England, but given the circumstances, I think we can overlook it. 😉

The bird turned out beautiful on my very first try. It was seasoned perfectly, and the meat was tender and rich. I felt so proud when I pulled it out of the oven, and although it’s a little pricey for a regular weeknight meal, I would have no problems making this if my family ever wants to give Christmas goose a try!

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Midnight on the Moor: A Wuthering Heights Tea

Posted February 6, 2018 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Teas / 1 Comment

 

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It’s tea time again here at Wonderland Recipes, and our latest blend is inspired by our current book of the month, Wuthering Heights. Naturally, for this tea I wanted something that would capture the dark, dramatic mood so iconic to this famous novel. Adagio Tea’s Earl Grey Moonlight blend was the perfect place to start. From there, I wanted to add a hint of Victorian flair, so I paired it with some classic Summer Rose tea. Throw in some cornflowers and extra rose petals for color, and you’ve got yourself the perfect drink to complement your midnight reading of Emily Bronte’s classic tale of thwarted romance and restless ghosts, staged in the cold, imposing halls of Wuthering Heights.

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Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Posted February 1, 2018 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

 

Last May, I got an email from a reader requesting a Wuthering Heights menu, and I was thrilled. It was the first time anyone had ever contacted me with a menu request, though I’ll admit I was also a little nervous since I’d never read Wuthering Heights before. I was afraid I might not like it, and I have a personal rule of not making menus for books I don’t like. Still, I promised to read it with hopes that all would go well.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it! Gothic romance holds a special place in my heart, and I loved Emily Bronte’s descriptions of the bleak moor and Cathy’s desolate ghost. I finished it quickly and immediately started planning a menu. February seemed like the perfect time to premiere it, what with all the stark, gray weather outside. So here it finally is!

I love the food’s Victorian flair throughout the book: goose, porridge, oatcakes, etc. There are also several references to tea and cake, so I decided to take that as the inspiration for my appetizer. One common form of tea cake is seed cake, a quick bread with caraway or poppy seed mixed through the batter. Although caraway is more traditional, I’m not a big fan of the flavor, so I decided to go with poppy seed. I also wanted to incorporate the oranges that are mentioned in the book, so orange poppy seed cake it is! The recipe I use here is mostly based on this blood orange poppy seed cake from The Whole Bite.

I was definitely eager to get to work on this! One downside of planning my menus so far ahead is that I don’t always get to make what I’m in the mood to cook, but I was SO in the mood for this. The weather lately has been gray and depressing, and a citrusy, not-too-sweet quick bread was just what I wanted. And this bread didn’t disappoint! It was tender without being too delicate, dense without being heavy, and absolutely beautiful. The glossy effect from the glaze is fantastic. And the flavor was perfect—just enough orange and just enough sweetness. Everyone in the house (including the baby) loved it. It was gone is just a few days!

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